When you suffer from chronic pain for a long time, a lot of changes come into your life. You have to adjust your habits, your environment, your routines accordingly. Chronic pain doesn’t affect the person suffering through it alone, it affects your family too. Your parents, siblings, spouse all of them get affected by it indirectly.
We don’t realize this change because we are too engrossed in our own pain. But, seeing us in pain affects our family equally. We might suffer from physical pain but they suffer from the mental and emotional pain. We fear and grieve our future because we fear the next symptom our illness might surprise us with and how we would manage it. Our family fears and grieves over the fact, how long does he/she have to suffer, waiting for that one miraculous day when the suffering ends for us.
This journey through pain brings a lot of changes in everybody’s life. One such change in my life is my mother. My mother has seen me suffer for 4 long years. She has seen the different phases of my life, starting from the day I got injured to my never-ending complaints of severe pain which never goes away. A phase where she was totally clueless what has struck her daughter suddenly to understanding that there are such conditions in the world which can leave a totally-abled person in pain throughout their life. She has understood the concept of how one small injury and one wrong doctor can change your life forever.
She prays for me every day, wishing for my pain to go away. With that, she tries to understand my issues and adapt to them. She is not a medic or has any knowledge of medicine. For her, these symptoms are totally alien but she tries to be there no matter how confusing the situation turns out. It is this never-ending support she provides me that gives me an attitude to never give up. Her words, “I know my daughter is very strong and she can handle any situation”.
The biggest change I saw in her was when one fine day she came to my room and started talking about one of our neighbours. She saw our neighbour walking home limping with a sad painful face. She stopped her to inquire what happened and our neighbour informed her about her nerve pain issue(Sciatica) in her leg and how it has been bothering her through the months. The moment she heard it all, my mother started educating our neighbour about nerve pain and nerve pain related issues and how it should be taken care of immediately by meeting the right doctor. She educated her about pain management, the role of a neurologist, pain specialist and a physiotherapist.
This conversation with my mother made our neighbour take it seriously and she booked an appointment to see a pain specialist and not neglect the issue any further. My mother told me further that seeing our neighbour walking in pain brought her fear of seeing me in pain every day alive and she doesn’t want anyone to go through this much pain and suffering ever.
When my mother was narrating me the whole story, I had a tiny smile on my face realizing how educated she is about chronic pain and the suffering. Her enthusiasm to educate others so that nobody makes those mistakes that we made, nobody has to wait for years before getting the right diagnosis and treatment.
From a phase where she was totally alien to the concept of chronic pain and the symptoms that come along with my illness to a phase where she has started educating others and doesn’t wish anybody to suffer through it ever again.
This change in her makes me happy and forget the day I got injured and my misery started. Because I want to be more like her caring, giving, understanding and adaptive to change. A change which can be considered bad in this situation but definitely gives me a lot of strength to fight it out.